RE: Political WTF in Texas (3)

Menendez explains WTF

by , May 8, 2009 | 4:28 pm

Rep. Jose Menendez stepped away briefly from the House floor to talk me off of tilt learn-me-some political sportsmanship and let concerned Pokeratizens know that no, HB 222 isn’t dead yet … but he may well have to put it to sleep if we can’t out-social-network Texas’ well-heeled right-wing-conservative power base. Why this isn’t proving to be a simple yay or nay, according to Menendez and my hastily scrawled (with an extra-large Sharpie) phone-call interview notes:

    [first minute of convo not recorded nor written down]

  • “We’ve got to have a green light from the governor, because if the guys on the floor know he’s going to veto it, I won’t be able to get enough Rs and even conservative Ds.”
  • “If we get to it today — and it looks like it won’t be until Monday” … postpone for 12 hours.”
  • Bringing up “dead bill” = bad process — use up valuable HouseRep time for bill destined for veto, thereby preventing colleagues from getting to their bills.
  • “You have to consider other legislation … I’m not going to lose years of good will built up [with members of both parties] in the House …”
  • need it to get something past [sic.]
  • still have/need [illegible … something shot at … casino bill] … 100 votes [something with a C] … next year].
  • “can’t be pissing people off.”
  • light up the governor’s office with message that I’m a Texas poker player who votes and want to be able to play safely and legally in Texas.
  • don’t lie.

Ahh, right, OK … I think I get it. May need to do a follow-up to clarify some of the above.

So this isn’t an R vs. D battle, I’m hearing … and I’m deducing that it’s an internal Republican power play of some sorts — presumably Rick Perry trying to lock up a portion of his party before US Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison comes to town to possibly challenge Perry in the primary?

Republicans aren’t our enemies any more than Christians are, of course … they all count poker players among their ranks, after all, and some of them even run churches that ship senior citizens by the busload to Oklahoma casinos. And since there are plenty of conservatives who support the idea of protecting citizens from harm, their freedom rights, and the state’s right to collect its fair due, we need to encourage them to twist the governor’s arm, too, letting him know … hey, this anti-poker thing is not the best principle for him to take a stand on, yo!

The bad guys, meanwhile, have been running a (grammatically incorrect) bumper-sticker campaign:

… but that was apparently just a cover — they were saving most of their ammo for yesterday and today. (Weak means strong-ish?) Fortunately for us, the House did not get to HB 222 today, so we’ve got a little extra time to replay the down and punch the political football across the goal line.

Contact your representative — Rs and Conservative Ds alike — to reassure them of your support and request their help putting the governor’s mind at ease.

And contact the governor’s automated voice-pulse line to tell him whatever you sincerely would like him to hear:
(800) 252-9600

(If only legislation were as easy as American idol … )

7 Comments to “RE: Political WTF in Texas (3) ”

  1. mike h

    i called and emailed the governor’s office today and will be doing the same thing with my reps. without lying, i can make a very compelling statement as a politically active, christian and lifelong texan who happens to derive quite a bit of income from poker that this is the most important issue to me right now and will play very heavily into how i vote in the future.

  2. Erick Field

    Texas players, lets elist the media and ask supporters to call gov message line in support of hb 222. (800)252-9600.

  3. Johnny Hughes

    Thanks to Dan for keeping us informed on this, which the Texas newspapers do not. I am on talk radio in the most conservative part of the state rather often. Poker is like marijuana in some respects. It is lumped in with all forms of gambling, like marijuana is lumped in with all forms of drugs.

    If I remember my Texas-legislature-speak, the Rep. is saying it is over for this year. We need a poker-alone bill, and go for the California poker room model. Texas killed off and ran off nearly all our Indians. Poker should not pimp for the slots. What have they ever done for us? or anyone?

    Johnny Hughes

  4. DanM

    I read somewhere that trying to get slots in Texas is like political Groundhog Day.

  5. scott diamond

    Someone needs to introduce Texas Govenor to the legislatures in Florida. Florida had a vote for Poker Friday and Passed their bill.

  6. Steve

    What will get Texans behind this is hypocrisy. Pointing out the hypocrisy of the religious groups that make MILLIONS off of “charitable bingo”, but are against an expansion of gambling. Go to, click on the Charitable Bingo link and look at the quarterly reports for bingo income. Check out how many churches are on the list, and how many organizations like “Lone Star Bingo Trust” are on the list. I suspect many of these are religious organizations that have picked innocuous names such as that for cover. This needs to be publicized *every where* for the next two years.

  7. Matches Malone

    I wish I lived in Texas so that I could help out, as I’m the trifecta: A Republican Poker playing Christian.